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North Koreans arrive for May Day event

Apr 30,2007
Won Hyong-guk, vice chairman of North Korea’s General Federation of Trade Unions, receives a bouquet of flowers upon his arrival. [REUTERS]
A group of 60 North Korean officials and workers arrived in South Korea’s southeastern city of Changwon yesterday to take part in a joint celebration of Labor Day. Led by Won Hyong-guk, a vice chairman of the North’s General Federation of Trade Unions, the North Koreans arrived at Gimhae Airport just outside Busan on a direct flight from Pyongyang.
The visit is the first of its kind since the end of the Korean War. The delegation will participate in joint events to celebrate Labor Day tomorrow, May 1.
The North Koreans are also scheduled to visit places considered politically sensitive, such as a national cemetery in Masan dedicated to the people and activists who were killed in the 1960 democratic uprising that led to the fall of the Syngman Rhee government.
“Thank you for welcoming us so sincerely,” Won told reporters upon arrival.
“I believe we can say the joint events are also one of the fruits of the June 15 joint declaration, as the main purpose of these events is to have laborers from North and South Korea join so we can reunify our nation,” Won added, referring to a joint statement adopted at an inter-Korean summit in June 2000.
The North Koreans are scheduled to visit the branch offices of South Korea’s two major labor umbrella organizations ― the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions and the Federation of Korean Trade Unions ― in Changwon, some 390 kilometers (242 miles) southeast of Seoul.



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